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WI vs IND, 2nd Test: Praises pour in for Debutant Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh found some swing with that new ball and India’s bowling coach was impressed with the efforts of the 29-year-old…reports Asian Lite News

India debutant Mukesh Kumar won praise from bowling coach Paras Mhambrey after the right-arm pacer claimed his first Test wicket on a rain interrupted Day 3 of the second match against the West Indies, here on Saturday.

Mukesh claimed the wicket of fellow debutant Kirk McKenzie for 32 on a day that saw the West Indies show plenty of fight with the bat, as the hosts frustrated India to go to stumps at 229/5 and still trailing by 209 in the second match.

While veteran spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did the bulk of the bowling on Saturday, Mukesh showed enough on debut through 14 overs to show he has a future in red-ball cricket as he got the wicket of McKenzie and then was entrusted to partner Mohammed Siraj with the second new ball later in the day.

Mukesh found some swing with that new ball and India’s bowling coach was impressed with the efforts of the 29-year-old.

“I think he bowled very well. Given the conditions the way he has gone about putting everything behind the ball that is very heartening to see and that is what is expected from him and from the team management this is what we wanted. Just to give his best and this is what he has done,” Mhambrey said at the close of play.

“I am extremely happy with the progress he has shown from the first ball of the first session he bowled, to the second new ball where he showed some signs of moving the new ball it was real quality stuff,” he added.

Notably, only four wickets fell in 67 overs as West Indies displayed resilience on a rain-marred third day.

Mhambrey defended his bowlers and said, “The pitch is extremely slow. When we had come in the morning, even Rohit had spoken about it — the ball wasn’t seaming or spinning a lot. It was extremely slow. Towards the end, the ball was turning slightly, but it was very easy for batting,” he said.

“To top it, they were batting extremely defensively. Had they played some shots, maybe there would have been some opportunities to pick wickets. But they weren’t even trying for that. But to sum it up, our bowlers put in the effort. Whatever was expected from the team and the captain, they fulfilled that,” he added.

The 51-year old also mentioned that the wicket should be sporting, where all departments have an opportunity but it hasn’t been the case in the West Indies during this series so far.

“The wicket should be sporting, where all departments have an opportunity – whether it’s batting or bowling. If you go to either extreme… Dominica was turning a bit and we could use that wicket better given the bowlers we had,” the Indian bowling coach said.

“On this wicket, it will be quite a challenge to pick 20 wickets. The first challenge would be to bowl them out in the first innings and then see at what stage the game is at. Then we’ll reassess what to do in the second innings. These wickets are challenging and will be a lot of hard work for the bowlers. Wickets shouldn’t be so flat,” he added.

While the pitch in Trinidad has played very few tricks over the first three days, Mhambrey saw enough during the final session on Saturday to believe India can still claim the upper hand and register a series-clinching victory.

“I think the first session (on Sunday) will be important. To see the way we swung the ball in the last session right now, both Siraj and Mukesh came in and swung the ball and troubled the batters and there were a couple of close calls out there,” Mhambrey said.

“Looking at that, I think the first session in the morning and even the first hour is going to be crucial. If we pick up a couple of wickets is opens up the match for us and we can take the game forward and see where we are. What we look for from the bowlers is to hit the right areas, show some patience and make the batters play,” he added.

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